Nintendo 3DS and Wii U Going Offline in 2024—Here’s Why

Nintendo is calling it quits for broad online functionality for its past 3DS handheld and Wii U console, announcing plans to shutter multiplayer options, online rankings, and other features that require internet usage in early April 2024.

The game publisher announced the news Wednesday in a Nintendo Support post, along with a Q&A section offering further details. According to the company, users will still be able to play games that do not require an internet connection.

Nintendo said that the Pokémon Bank feature in the Pokémon Ultra Sun, Ultra Moon, Sun, and Moon games will be exempted from the 3DS and Wii U online services shutdown—as will the Poké Transporter, which supports titles like Pokémon Gold and Silver, to name a few. 

“That may also end at some point in the future,” Nintendo added.

Nintendo’s StreetPass feature—which allows 3DS players to message and play with users nearby—will also still be available after the online services shutdown, because it uses local communication and therefore doesn’t require online services. Nintendo’s wireless hotspot and LAN feature SpotPass does, however, so it will not work after the shutdown.

The Mario maker’s move to shut down online services for the 3DS and Wii U is, in effect, a major step towards sunsetting support for the consoles. The 3DS was first released over a decade ago in 2011, with a super-sized version called the Nintendo 3DS XL launched in 2017. The Wii U was released back in 2012. 

Nintendo has since shifted its attention toward launching new titles for its Nintendo Switch handheld console and its rumored next-generation console—which reports suggest may release as early as mid-2024. 

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